Monday, October 24
“The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
Isa 61:3 NKJV
PUT ON THE GARMENT OF PRAISE
Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be “magnified.” David said, “Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps 34:3-4 NKJV). It’s a mistake to wait until you’ve no problems, fewer problems, or your problems are solved before you praise the Lord. Praise is one of the great scriptural keys to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver. Charles Spurgeon said: “My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God, really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ…In that worship I forget the cares of the church and everything else. To me it is the nearest approach to what it will be in heaven.” God has promised you “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” It works like this. When you begin to praise Him with a heavy heart, you experience a new sense of hope and joy. Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face; that He’s not only capable of managing your concerns but willing, wanting, and waiting to. The Psalmist wrote: “Seven times a day I praise You” (Ps 119:164 NKJV). Fill your day with praise. Don’t just take coffee breaks and tea breaks, take “praise breaks.” Begin to praise God for two things: (1) His attributes. His power, love, grace, favor, guidance, etc. (2) His acts. Recall His goodness to you. Go ahead; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise today.
Tuesday, October 25
“[Pastors] who do their work well should be paid well.”
1Ti 5:17 NLT
INCREASE YOUR PASTOR’S EFFECTIVENESS (1)
Your attitude and actions affect your pastor and your church. When you bless your pastor you bless your church, and when you hinder your pastor you hinder your church. Let’s look at some ways in which you can increase your pastor’s effectiveness: Provide a good salary. Once in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament, God holds us responsible to provide generously for our pastor. The old quip, “Lord, You keep him humble and we’ll keep him poor!” is no joking matter, and is contrary to the teaching of Scripture. Many a pastor is hampered by inadequate income, causing them stress and worry over their family’s financial needs. God established the law of compensation for those who provide for our bodies and souls—from oxen to pastors. An ox’s strength and capacity to do its job effectively required that it ate as much as it needed from the grain it was threshing. “But was God concerned only about an ox? No, he wasn’t! He was talking about [his servants]” (1Co 9:9-10 CEV). And Paul applies the same principle when it comes to compensating those who minister to us: “[Pastors] with a gift of leadership should be considered worthy of respect, and…adequate salary, particularly if they work hard at their preaching and teaching. Remember the scriptural principle: ‘Thou shall not muzzle an ox when he treadeth out the corn,’ and the labourer is worthy of his hire” (1Ti 5:17-18 PHPS). When possible, free your pastor from financial worry. Allow them to focus on developing the potential God sees in you, your church, and His kingdom in your community.